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Ant102-nov11- Religion, Worldview, Ritual, Magic.docx

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Victor Barac

11/11/2013 Week 10 4:02 PM November 11, 2013 RELIGION – OVERVIEW 1. James Frazer 2. Animism 3. Animatism 4. Myth & Ritual 5. The Social Organization of Religion 6. Religion and Society 7. Religion and Social Change Religion is from RELIGARE James Frazer (1854‐1941) 1. The Golden Bough (1890) he published this book. Early compendium In 1915 it was a best seller, still is. Huge book 2. Study of ancient cults, myths, and rites 3. Magic è Religion è Science He had an evolutionist view, religion suplants magic as a thought system which is then suplanted by science. Magic is the world of arbitrary forces and has to do with the ritual manipulation of occult forces. Religion to him was more focused on fulfilling the will of God or the gods. Religion replaces magic which is then replaced by rational science Animism Frasier did a comparative study Many religion center their beliefs on: Belief in spirit‐beings (Edward Tylor) 1. Souls, ghosts, witches, demons, spirits, gods, etc. (invisible) 2. Discrete, individual beings (can have a relationship with them) 3. Specific beliefs central to all religions (can have a personal relationship with those beings) For Frasier to lump these together was a shock to clergy etc. He was someone who wanted change. Animatism Belief in impersonal, diffuse forces (Robert Marrett) Phenominal antities-noumena Noumenal realities are powerful but they don't have an objective reality like material objects do Various cultures have identified this: 1. Hebrew ‐ el 2. Greek – dynamis 3. Latin – noumena 4. Polynesia ‐ mana (power)-things can have mana 5. Iroquois – orenda Myth and Ritual Durkheim: religion is a symbolic rendering of society, a simplification of a more complex society Combine Durkheim and Tylor get: The Two Basic Elements of Religion 1. Myth -central narrative (stories) of a culture. Holy books 2. Ritual -holy days Combined together it's a narrative of religion. They support one another Myth = the grand narratives of a culture 1. Explanations -on origins of universe, the future of the word, interpretive frameworks 2. Value systems- ex. Protecting your family, maintaining harmony in the village, getting a lot of wealth. All these are different in each culture. -central things in life sex, marriage, kinship, money, property etc. Ritual = Rites & ceremonies (built on this) Ex, wedding is ceremony that contains rite like exchanging rings etc. together these rites are a ceremony 1. Collective – shared, intense, emotional (generates powerful emotions, creates bonds) 2. Individual – empowerment, catharsis, healing (ritual is invoked as a means of fixing something) -ritual and magic at that level function to reduce anxiety especially in context where don't have much control The Social Organization of Religion Anthony F. C. Wallace on religious cults (wrote a lot on religious cults). He identified 4 types of religious practices: 1. Individualistic cults -the bulk of the activity involves the individual ex. Go in wilderness naked w/o food to get visions 2. Shamanistic cults -there's an intermediate. Paying a Shaman. Specialist, but not professions. Don't make living the same way a priest does. They are involved with the community as members but can contact supernatural on behalf on others. Most sicknesses believed to be cause by soul loss. If lose your soul, could be depressed, no energy, etc. Common belief worldwide. Give a gift to
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